September 8, 2013

A Mosaic of Peace

We recently wrapped up another trimester at the seminary, finishing up our Culture of Peace course.  We thoroughly enjoyed the relationships that we were able to build with our students while spending the last eight months together.  This helped us to form a closeness and trust with one another that facilitated a space of openness that allowed for difficult conversations and growth in our lives and those of our students.  We were able to speak about controversial topics in the classroom, even though people had very different perspectives and views.  It was a safe place where all of us were there with the goal to learn and serve those around us better.

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On our last day of class we had a brunch at our house.  During our time together, we created a mosaic by asking students to write what they are doing to cultivate a culture of peace in their families, communities and workplaces.  It was so powerful to see all of our responses together and provided us a glimmer of hope that if each of us can make little changes in our day to day lives, by living more peacefully, we will have a big impact in the world around us.

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We closed the class by reading a prayer that was written and dedicated to the late Oscar Romero.  We hope that you find it as impactful as we did.

It helps, now and then, to step back and take a long view.
The kingdom is not only beyond our efforts, it is even beyond our vision.
We accomplish in our lifetime only a tiny fraction of the magnificent
enterprise that is God's work. Nothing we do is complete, which is a way of
saying that the Kingdom always lies beyond us.
No statement says all that could be said.
No prayer fully expresses our faith.
No confession brings perfection.
No pastoral visit brings wholeness.
No program accomplishes the Church's mission.
No set of goals and objectives includes everything.
This is what we are about.
We plant the seeds that one day will grow.
We water seeds already planted, knowing that they hold future promise.
We lay foundations that will need further development.
We provide yeast that produces far beyond our capabilities.
We cannot do everything, and there is a sense of liberation in realizing that.
This enables us to do something, and to do it very well.
It may be incomplete, but it is a beginning, a step along the way, an
opportunity for the Lord's grace to enter and do the rest.
We may never see the end results, but that is the difference between the master
builder and the worker.
We are workers, not master builders; ministers, not messiahs.
We are prophets of a future not our own.

-Bishop Ken Untener of Saginaw

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